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Did the White House put a “politically correct spin” on bin Laden’s death?

There are not so shocking revelations in the Associated Press report on a new book covering the bin Laden raid …

SEAL book raises questions about bin Laden’s death

A firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.

Bin Laden apparently was shot in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in “No Easy Day.” 

Mr. Bissonnette says he was directly behind a point man going up the stairs in the pitch-black hallway. Near the top, he said, he heard two shots, but the book doesn’t make it clear who fired them. He wrote that the point man had seen a man peeking out of a door on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that the man ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the man crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body. Once they wiped the blood off his face, they were certain it was bin Laden.

Mr. Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner. He and the other SEALs trained their guns’ laser sights on bin Laden’s still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

Administration officials briefing reporters in the days after the May 2011 raid in Pakistan said the SEALs shot bin Laden only after he ducked back into the bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.

No, that’s not the shocking revelation I am most concerned about. The fact that we killed a major Jihadist rather than taking him alive is a good thing.

The account is sure to renew questions about whether the raid was intended to capture or simply to kill bin Laden. Mr. Bissonnette writes that during a pre-raid briefing, an administration lawyer told them that they were not on an assassination mission. According to Mr. Bissonnette, the lawyer said that if bin Laden was “naked with his hands up,” they should not engage him. If bin Laden did not pose a threat, they should detain him.

This is the revelation that I am most concerned about. Why there was an administration lawyer telling combat veterans about their mission. One, the target was not a United States citizen and had absolutely no civil rights as an enemy of the United States. Two, war is about killing people and breaking things with little room for the subtleties of the law beyond “right or wrong.” And three, there is no place for any “rules of engagement” that places American fighting soldiers at significant risk to uphold some idea of political correctness or to promote some politician’s legacy in the Muslim world.

Is this lawyer and his boss a moron? What would you do with bin Laden if he had been captured? Bring him to the United States, Mirandize him and place him on trial for murder. A trial that would take years and would make him a bigger martyr as his paid lawyers continued his propaganda campaign? Put him in Guantanamo and provide a military tribunal – and a firing squad or hanging if he was found guilty? Send him to the International Court at The Hague for an international show trial?

The fact is that had bin Laden lived, his fanatical followers would be killing Americans right and left to effect his release from custody. There was no alternate solution to killing bin Laden and to think otherwise is naive and foolish.

Why is the liberal media attempting to obtain post facto justification of a “justifiable” kill? To provide cover for Obama who is uneasy around the military?

A former deputy judge advocate general for the Air Force said the shooting was understandable according to the orders the SEALS had. “It wasn’t unreasonable for the SEALs to shoot the individual who stuck his head out,” said the former JAG, retired Maj. Gen. Charlie Dunlap, who now teaches at the Duke University law school. “In a confined space like that where it is clear that there are hostiles, the SEALs need to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety and accomplish the mission,” Mr. Dunlap said. Mr. Dunlap added that shooting bin Laden’s fallen form was also reasonable in his legal opinion, to keep the terrorist from possibly blowing himself up or getting a weapon and shooting at the SEALs.

What nonsense is this? The man was an enemy of the United States, complicit in the terrorist activities that resulted in more American deaths than at Pearl Harbor. So why bend over backward to suggest that this moral and justifiable killing needed “legal” window-dressing. Perhaps to confuse the fact that the Administration inappropriately shot off their collective mouths without knowing the operational details – which they, in all likelihood, would have made available to a Hollywood film crew.

Respect? A man who engages in terrorism and the mass killing of innocent Americans does not deserve respect or any other consideration. He is a social cockroach to be exterminated as efficiently as possible so that life elsewhere can move on.

In another possibly uncomfortable revelation for U.S. officials, who say bin Laden’s body was treated with dignity before being given a full Muslim burial at sea, the author reveals that in the cramped helicopter flight out of the compound, one of the SEALs was sitting on bin Laden’s chest as the body lay at the author’s feet in the middle of the cabin, for the short flight to a refueling stop inside Pakistan where a third helicopter was waiting. This is common practice, as U.S. troops sometimes must sit on their own war dead in packed helicopters. Space was cramped because one of the helicopters had crashed in the initial assault, leaving little space for the roughly two dozen commandos in the two aircraft that remained. When the commandos reached the third aircraft, bin Laden’s body was moved to it.

More shockingly, we seem to have an inept and weird Vice President …

Mr. Bissonnette writes less flatteringly of meeting Vice President Joseph R. Biden along with Mr. Obama at the headquarters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment after the raid. He says Mr. Biden told “lame jokes” no one understood, reminding him of “someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.”

Bottom line …

The Obama Administration, lead by a hard-left liberal, wants to make terrorism just another crime to be prosecuted in domestic federal courts. Giving our enemies a tactical propaganda advantage and the possibility of an acquittal for lack of evidence or prosecutorial misconduct. For those who believe that this is not possible, just look at the prosecutorial misconduct involving Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens which wrongly cost him his career and reputation.

War should not be administered by lawyers who speak out of both sides of their mouths when they act as paid advocates. It is unclear if these lawyers were representing Obama or the United States of America? It is unclear whether or not these were “civilian lawyers” or military lawyers.

The United States Department of Justice, under Eric Holder, appears biased in favor of enemy combatants since many of the top-level people involved in the DOJ were associated with a firm representing these very enemy combatants. If we listen to Holder, it would be only a matter of time before some Jihadi group, that was unafraid to die, took over a school or a mall and threatened to kill everyone if bin Laden wasn’t released. There is a reason we keep enemy combatants at Gitmo. A very, very good reason.why bin Laden should have been killed rather than captured.

Former lawyers who were defending Gitmo detainees are now working for Holder at the DOJ. Also, Holders law firm, Covington & Burling provided pro-bono representation to numerous Gitmo detainees during the Bush administration. Holder was silent when lawyers for Al Qaeda enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay were shown photographs taken of CIA officials leaving their homes potentially putting these agents and their families in danger. <Source>

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 13, 2009

Department of Justice Withdraws “Enemy Combatant” Definition for Guantanamo Detainees

In a filing today with the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice submitted a new standard for the government’s authority to hold detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The definition does not rely on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief independent of Congress’s specific authorization. It draws on the international laws of war to inform the statutory authority conferred by Congress. It provides that individuals who supported al Qaeda or the Taliban are detainable only if the support was substantial. And it does not employ the phrase "enemy combatant."

The Department also submitted a declaration by Attorney General Eric Holder stating that, under executive orders issued by President Obama, the government is undertaking an interagency review of detention policy for individuals captured in armed conflicts or counterterrorism operations as well as a review of the status of each detainee held at Guantanamo. The outcome of those reviews may lead to further refinements of the government’s position as it develops a comprehensive policy.

In its filing today, the government bases its authority to hold detainees at Guantanamo on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which Congress passed in September 2001, and which authorized the use of force against nations, organizations, or persons the president determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the September 11 attacks, or harbored such organizations or persons. The government’s new standard relies on the international laws of war to inform the scope of the president’s authority under this statute, and makes clear that the government does not claim authority to hold persons based on insignificant or insubstantial support of al Qaeda or the Taliban.

The brief was filed in habeas litigation brought by numerous detainees at Guantanamo who are challenging their detention under the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in Boumediene v. Bush.  <Source>

But the most surprising revelation is that the Administration and key officials were so eager to get self-serving face time with the media that they got the details wrong. And now they want to save face.

bin Laden should have simply disappeared. All of the intelligence recovered and exploited to help bring about an end to terrorism. And the entire operation buried in the sands of time. The Obama Administration should have kept their mouths shut – and not provided aid and comfort to our enemies by releasing classified information, especially that information that related to sources and methods. Had that happened, this book would have never been written. If you want the reason for keeping sources and methods classified, just ask one Pakistani doctor who has been tortured and imprisoned for 30+ years for assisting the United States in verifying bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan before mounting the raid. What of his rights?

-- steve

Reference Links …

SEAL book raises questions about bin Laden's death - Washington Times


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